Renewing a Driver's License
Renewing and REAL ID
Renewing by mail
Renewing at a Secretary of State branch office
Renewing - making corrections to your license
Renewing early - In state
Renewing early - out of state
Renewing or expired license -out of state
Renewing - military
Expired license - military
Related documents & topics
Renewing and REAL ID
It's time to renew your driver's license, and you may have a choice to make. Beginning May 3, 2023, Michigan residents boarding a plane for domestic travel in the U.S., or entering certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants must present a REAL ID-compliant document.
If you have an enhanced driver's license, you already have a REAL ID-compliant card. (Enhanced licenses that don't have a star on them are still REAL ID compliant and will be printed with a star when renewed or replaced.)
If you have a driver's license, check your renewal notice for your options.
How do I decide if I need a REAL ID-compliant driver's license?
You may not need a REAL ID-compliant license if you:
- Don't fly and don't plan to enter certain federal facilities, military bases and nuclear power plants after May 3, 2023.
- Have an acceptable alternative to a REAL ID-compliant driver's license, such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card. The Transportation Security Administration provides a complete list of acceptable documents.
If the convenience of carrying a driver's license that meets all requirements for boarding a plane for domestic travel appeals to you, then a REAL ID-compliant driver's license is the right choice for you.
How do I obtain a REAL ID-compliant driver's license?
To apply for a REAL ID-compliant license when renewing:
- Visit a Secretary of State branch office.
- Provide proof of U.S. citizenship or legal presence by presenting your certified U.S. birth certificate with a stamp or raised seal; an unexpired U.S. passport or passport card; or other approved citizenship or legal presence document. If your name is different from what's on your birth certificate, you'll need to bring in a certified name-change document, such as your marriage license or court order. Multiple documents may be needed if your name has changed more than once. Name-change documents must show both the changed name and the previous name. Divorce decrees may be used if they are certified (copies aren't accepted) and if they show the changed name and the previous name. Photocopies and faxes aren't accepted.
- Bring your glasses or contacts if used for driving.
- Pass the vision test.
- Pay your driver's license renewal fee. There is no fee for converting to REAL ID.
If you apply for a REAL ID license or ID card and you aren't renewing, a duplicate card fee will be due. Please make sure you have the appropriate documentation before you go to a branch office.
You may renew your driver's license or enhanced driver's license through online services or a self-service station if a renewal was completed at a Secretary of State branch office within the last eight years. Renewing online is convenient and saves time.
When renewing online, a standard driver's license cannot be converted to an enhanced driver's license. A branch office visit is required to present documentation. Learn more about enhanced driver's license requirements and make an appointment.
- Fill out and sign the renewal notice.
- Update your address in the space provided.
- Pay by check or money order.
- Mail at least three weeks before your driver's license expires.
Michigan law requires motorists to renew their driver's license in person at a Secretary of State branch office once every twelve years. You must renew at a Secretary of State branch office if:
- You have any health changes that may affect your ability to drive safely.
- It has been more than eight years since you last renewed in person at a Secretary of State branch office..
- We couldn't verify your Social Security number. (You must present proof of a valid Social Security number when you renew. A letter of ineligibility from the Social Security Administration and proof of legal presence in the United States will be accepted in lieu of a Social Security number when renewing a license.)
When Renewing at a Secretary of State branch office:
- Bring your driver's license or other acceptable ID
- Bring glasses or contact lenses needed for driving
- You will be asked to take a vision test
- Pay by cash, check, money order, Discover, MasterCard or Visa debit or Credit Card.
You may also make corrections when renewing your license or enhanced license.
Change of address
A change of address may be submitted online through online services, by mail or at a branch office when renewing your license.
Name and date of birth changes
At any branch office.
If you need to change your name on your valid driver's license you must present it with proof of the name change. Proof of your name change must be established through an official record, such as a certified marriage license, divorce decree or a legal name change document. Multiple documents may be needed if your name has changed more than once. Name-change documents must show both the changed name and the previous name. Divorce decrees may be used if they are certified (copies are not accepted) and if they show the changed name and the previous name. A fee will be charged to correct your name and a new photograph will be taken.
Social Security Number, endorsement, group designation changes
At any branch office.
Your driver's license or enhanced driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early at a Secretary of State branch office if you will be unable to renew it on time for any reason. You may also renew your driver's license online through online services or a self-service station up to 12 months early if you are a U.S. citizen with a valid Social Security number.
If you will be out of state when your license or enhanced license is due to expire, you should visit a Secretary of State branch office to renew it before you travel. A driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early if you will be unable to renew it on time for any reason. Eligible motorists may also renew their standard driver's license online through online services up to 12 months early.
- Obtain a special extension permit allowing you to drive for up to 180 days from the license expiration date, or
- Apply to renew you license by mail or through online services if eligible.
Which option is right for you will depend on your circumstances, such as how long you will be out of state or whether you are eligible to renew by mail or online.
Your driver's license or enhanced driver's license may be renewed up to 12 months early at a branch office if you are unable to renew it on time for any reason.
If you are stationed out of state, you may renew your license by mail if it has not been expired more than four years and the Department of State has an electronic photograph of you on file. Proof of your Social Security number will be required if it hasn't been verified by the Department of State. For more information, contact the Special Services Branch at:
Michigan Department of State
Special Services Branch
7064 Crowner Drive
Lansing, MI 48918
Spouses and dependents of active military personnel stationed out of state may also renew by mail, but they are not granted the same time extension. They should renew no later than their birthday in the year indicated on their license. Contact the Special Services Branch for more information.
Online renewal through online services or a self-service station is available for licenses for military personnel and their families if they meet the eligibility requirements. Licenses expired more than four years can't be renewed online.
If your license or enhanced license has expired, you may continue to drive on it in conjunction with your military papers but only for the following period - whichever comes first:
- Thirty days from your first leave of absence following the expiration of your license (the leave doesn't have to be to Michigan, this refers to any leave of absence), or
- Thirty days from the date of your discharge following the expiration of your license.
It is recommended that you also carry your leave or discharge papers when driving on an expired license. Upon returning to Michigan, visit a Secretary of State branch office to have your license or enhanced license renewed. Licenses that are expired for up to four years may also be renewed online for eligible drivers.